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The Pros and Cons of Eating Before Bed

Woman eating before bed.

Is Eating Before Bed Bad for Your Health?

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’ve probably been told to avoid eating before bed. The logic behind that advice is typically that eating before you go to sleep will lead to weight gain. While that may seem to make sense, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily true.

Are we about to dispel one of the longest standing tidbits of dieting advice? Hmm, we’ll have to see about that.

Why Eating Before Bed Is Okay

Contrary to popular belief, the act of eating before bed won’t necessarily lead to weight gain in and of itself. People seem to have developed the belief that eating before retiring for the day will cause them to gain weight because their metabolism slows down while they sleep, making it more likely that their bodies will convert the calories just consumed into fat.

That’s simply not true, however. Research shows that a typical person’s metabolic rate is just about the same when the individual is sleeping as it is when the person is awake.

While it flies in the face of conventional “wisdom” – or folklore in this case – eating before bed may actually help you sleep better and lead to weight loss. Yes, you read that right. Having a snack before bed may facilitate weight loss.

People who experience disrupted sleep are susceptible to eating too much during the day and being hungry at night. Experiencing hunger overnight can obviously lead to more disrupted sleep, which will perpetuate the cycle of being hungry and not getting enough sleep. Having a light snack before bedtime can help you break this cycle because it can keep you feeling satisfied while you try to finally get a good night’s rest.

At least one study has shown that consuming a small protein snack before going to bed might help you gain muscle. More specifically, a protein snack that has about 150 calories may promote muscle gain. While it’s not clear what caused the muscle gain in the study published in “Nutrients,” the snack that was consumed during the research consisted of casein protein.

Why You Shouldn’t Eat Before Going to Bed

While eating immediately before going to bed won’t cause you to gain weight on its own, it may lead to weight gain by causing you to consume more calories throughout the day. If you want to incorporate a snack before bed into your daily routine, you may want to eat less at another time of day to offset the calories you’ll take in before you “hit the hay.”

Some people may experience sleep disturbances if they eat right before they go to bed. If spicy food upsets your stomach, for example, it may interfere with your sleep if you eat it prior to going to bed. If you know a certain food will prevent you from falling and/or staying asleep, you shouldn’t consume that food before you head to bed.

Why You Should Shop with Ben’s

While the debate about whether or not it’s advisable to eat before bed will probably continue well into the future, there is no debate about where you should shop for a mattress or bedroom furniture. Ben’s sells bedroom furniture, mattresses, and mattress accessories at discounted prices, making the retailer the place to shop for all your bedroom needs. You don’t even need to shop in one of our Atlanta-area stores because we’ll ship your online order to any location in the United States.

Find everything you need for your bedroom at Ben’s today.

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